Ecole du Grand Chocolat Pastry Chefs USA
A graduate of Culinary Institute of America, Sarah Kosikowski’s stellar career includes some of the most renowned restaurants in the country. In San Francisco, she worked at The French Laundry, Citizen Cake, and the Ritz-Carlton Dining Room. In Las Vegas, she continued to hone her skills at the Wynn Hotel; then, as Executive Pastry Chef, at the four-star Fleur de Lys; and then Michael Mina’s Michelin-rated restaurant at the Bellagio. In Chicago, she oversaw the dessert program at the Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago.
She is a 2009 James Beard Award nominee and appeared in national and local media. Chef Kosikowski qualified for the North American semi-finals of the Valrhona C3 Culinary Competition in Versailles, France in April 2011.
The extremely accomplished Chef Sarah Kosikowski joined Valrhona as its Ecole du Grand Chocolat Pastry Chef Eastern USA in 2012.
Derek Poirier, Ecole du Grand Chocolat Pastry Chef Western USA and 2014 Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America, brings his experience and skills honed in the top hotels of the US and Canada in his work with the French chocolate maker. He teaches and conducts demonstrations in restaurants, hotels and culinary schools throughout the US and Canada.
He also develops recipes and teaches master classes attended by an international array of pastry chefs who travel to Valrhona’s famed L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat located in Tain l’Hermitage in the wine region of France’s Rhone Valley. He has represented the U.S. and Canada in world pastry competitions, including in 2003 and 2005, as a member of Team USA at the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in Lyon, France which brings together the top pastry chefs from 22 countries. He advised the Team USA chefs who were training for the 2009 and 2011 competition. A native of Vancouver, BC, he currently makes his home in Arizona.
Valrhona Executive Pastry Chef - Tain l'Hermitage, France
He has gained knowledge and experience from many different areas of the business including restaurants, pastry shops, as well as from his current role as Executive Pastry Chef at L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona – Tain l’Hermitage.
His experience includes the following:
Restaurant Industry: 10 years at Restaurant Troisgros (Roanne, France), a 3-Michelin stars establishment.
Pastry shops: 5 years at Fauchon, Paris
Pastry consultant: He has travelled to more than 35 countries consulting pastry chefs across the globe.
Chocolatier: For the past 10 years, he has been working within the chocolate medium at the Valrhona L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat.
Currently, as Executive Pastry Chef at L’Ecole, he is the leader of the Valrhona Pastry Chefs team. In addition, he manages classes and various projects outside L’Ecole, including one-on-one technical assistance with customers, all the while ensuring the core philosophy of the school and its teaching values.